An Ebonyi State High Court in Abakaliki on Wednesday sentenced a married man, Ekene Nweke, to three years in prison, with hard labour, for raping a 20-year old girl, Blessing, whose surname is withheld.
Nweke was arraigned on a one count of rape, having had carnal knowledge of Blessing on February 21, 2011, without her consent.
Delivering judgment, Justice Alloy Nwankwo, the state Chief Judge, who presided over the case, held that Nweke was guilty as charged and sentenced him accordingly without an option of fine.
Nwankwo also held that the prosecution had proved a case of rape against the convict as there was enough evidence that the accused committed the act and therefore deserved the sentence.
The convict’s offence, with Suit No: HAB/1C/2012 is said to contravene Section 358 of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State.
Earlier at the trial, the prosecutor, Mrs Nkem Chukwu, told the court that Nweke had raped Blessing at her residence in Abakaliki on February 21, 2011.
Chukwu had also provided a medical report of the examination conducted on the victim by a medical expert.
The result of the medical investigation, she said, provided evidence of deposit of semen around Blessing’s private part.
Mr Joseph Okezie, the counsel to the convict, had following his client’s conviction, prayed the court to be lenient with sentencing him because he was married with children.
“Allowing the accused to languish in prison would continue to affect the well-being and general upkeep of his family,’’ he pleaded.